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For better or worse, the American Thanksgiving tradition now includes a midnight run to the nearest department store or electronics retailer in the hopes of nabbing the ultimate Black Friday deal. But before you join the masses in this shopping madness, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises doing the following to make sure the deal you worked so hard for doesn’t turn into a disaster.

  1. Is the discount really a discount? Make sure that the price wasn’t inflated before the store offered a percentage off. For example, if there is 20 percent off the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), that’s not much of a deal. The MSRP is a much higher price than what the store would normally sell the product for.
  2. Read the fine print. Some Black Friday sale items may only be available in limited quantities or during specific hours. In other words, you may need to line up before the store opens to even have a chance of scoring that deal.
  3. Be aware of the return policy. Before you purchase, make sure you’re able to return the sale item if it turns out not to be what you wanted or if you find it cheaper somewhere else.
  4. Be safe online. Lots of Black Friday deals are offered online as well. Be sure to pay with a credit card as opposed to your debit card – your credit card is protected in case of fraudulent activity, whereas your bank account is at risk when using your debit card – and look for the padlock icon in the browser to make sure you’re on a secure site.

Finally, the BBB reminds us that there are many holiday shopping deals to be had beyond Black Friday. Consider Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday, as well as local craft and gift fairs. Of course, the best way to avoid overspending this holiday season is to create a budget, make a list and stick to it. Remember, the most thoughtful gifts usually don’t come with high price tags…or any price tag at all.

I hope you enjoyed these tips. Contact me today for any of your real estate needs!